Brick #1

Yesterday I drove back to Boston for a doctor’s appointment and I’ll be here for the next week and a half. My family going to NH for the weekend and my cousin’s grad party is next weekend, so it makes sense to hang around for a bit. Except that I JUST realized I left all my dark clothes (and yes it is all of my dark clothes since I rarely do laundry) in my apartment, which includes my two favorite pairs of running shorts. Ughhh.

In more exciting news, I got my first road bike last night!!! It’s a Univega Mixte 10-speed (as if that means anything to me). I found it on Craigslist and after pulling up + deeming the house not that creepy, we looked at the bike. I rode it around and made my lack of knowledge of how to ride a road bike very clear when the guy showed me how to switch gears, use the brakes, actually hold my hands on the handlebars, etc.

I decided to buy it because it really was in good condition and will serve its purpose, i.e. to get me through the biking part of the sprint triathlon. So I’m excited! I haven’t ridden it yet because I slept approximately 9 hours last night and have to wait around today for my windshield to be replaced. I’m itching to get outside and ride it. I might just go outside now… just to look at it.

On the agenda for today is a one hour bike + 1-2 mile run.. my first brick! I also need to swim at some point, since I declared yesterday a rest day. Food shopping also needs to happen at some point. Hopefully the windshield guys will come soon!

9 Miles

I honestly never thought I’d say this but…. I just ran 9 miles!!

Let’s back up. If you’ve read my running story, then you know I’m a fairly new runner. While I spent four years running when I was younger, there was quite the long hiatus. (Fun fact: last year when my friend told me she was going for a 2 mile run, I honestly thought it was the longest distance ever.)

So seeing 9 miles on my schedule was fairly daunting. Although I ran an 8 mile race last week, I knew I would finish the race. Physically, I knew I could do it. Mentally, the spectators and friends/family that knew I was running would get me through it. Also, they gave out really sweet t-shirts and knew I couldn’t wear it if I didn’t finish. ANYWAYS, 9 miles is a lot of miles to run by yourself.

I was actually supposed to run yesterday but couldn’t sleep the night before and would have had to get up at 5am just to eat before I started running at 7 and for some reason in my sleepless state of panic I could not fathom the idea of running after 8am so I changed it to a XT day. I slept better last night, woke up and had some toast, and then went out for my run around 10am. This was probably not the best idea since I ate at 7:15 and put off going for the run for a couple hours.

So 10am came and I pulled myself out of bed to go running. I had the bright idea of stopping for water since it was hot and I was thirsty. Drinking cold water = cramps. Actually, drinking any water while running for me = cramps. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to fuel for my half-marathon. Gotta work on that. I’m pretty sure I ran the whole time with a side stitch. But did that stop me from stopping around mile 7 for tons of water? No. Mile 7-9 were fun.

I employed the walk one minute run three minute technique. I actually finished the run at a 10:54 pace, which is right around my easy pace for long runs. It’s silly though, because my 8 miler was done at a 9:27 pace, which I could have hit for a 9 mile run. I am incapable of running to my full potential when no else is there.

The rest of the afternoon involved an amazing sandwich that I promised myself if I made it through all 9 miles.

I had a meeting at the lab really quick and spent the rest of the afternoon sending e-mails about recruiting participants for my honors project. Eeeek. Very nerve-wracking. I hope people sign up.

Stowe 8-Miler Recap

Last week I signed up for the Stowe 8-Miler. I had a 7 mile run on my training schedule, really wanted to sign up for a race, and the Cabot cheese factory was within 5 miles of the race location – why wouldn’t I sign up?!

So I signed up, freaked out, and didn’t really relax until the gun went off on Sunday. A number of insecurities went through my head – like, 8 miles is SO LONG. I knew I could finish, I wasn’t concerned about my ability to walk 8 miles, if need be. I wanted to finish at a decent pace, a pace I was proud of. I know I’m capable of 9:30/miles for longer distances and I’ve been running my training runs at 10-10:30/miles.

Sunday morning I got up after 6-ish hours of sleep, stuffed a peanut butter and banana sandwich in my mouth and tried not to fall back to sleep. It was about a 45 minute drive and I still needed to pick up my number so we left pretty early.

I got everything situated and was ready to run by 9am! The first mile literally flew by, not because of my pace, but because I was so excited and loving all the spectators and beautiful views of the mountains. I kept telling myself to slow down, there were x amount of miles left, and I didn’t want to burn out. I liked that the course was a loop and that we didn’t have to go around twice or out and back. It was perfect. Well, except for the scorching heat and hills. The last hill around mile 7.5 was particularly awful.

I finished in 1:15, 5 minutes under my goal! I was super pumped to see that I finished 8 miles just 9 minutes faster than my (awful) 10k in June. After the race they had beer + ice cream, two things I really didn’t want after running 8 miles in the heat but once I cooled down I got a bowl of black raspberry ice cream.

Some splits…

Mile 1: 8:43

Mile 2: 8:59

Mile 3: 9:21

Mile 4: 8:48

Mile 5: 9:08

Mile 6: 10:01 <– hills

Mile 7: 9:50

Mile 8: 9:57

My pace started to deteriorate around Mile 6, but I was fine with it. I walked a few times, especially at the water stops. I need to get better at running + drinking, but I didn’t feel like I wasn’t pushing myself. Plus the hills were insane.

Overall, good race.

My Running Story

So, I decided to start a blog to help me keep track of my workouts and hold me accountable for training. I figured a little intro to my running background would be fitting for a first post.

I signed up for cross-country in fifth grade, because one of my best friends signed up and I didn’t really have anything better to do after school. I continuously finished last during our runs after school, but it didn’t bother me too much. I didn’t take it that seriously but I had a lot of fun doing it. I eventually got better and in seventh and eighth grade I started placing in races. Unfortunately, the high school I attended didn’t have a cross-country team, so I switched to lacrosse and stopped running.

Fast-forward to my sophomore year of college when I tried to start the “Couch-to-5k” running program. I thought that 1 minute of running and 2 minutes of walking was way too easy. Needless to say, I didn’t run my first 5k that year. I could barely finish a mile.

I started taking running more seriously when I got back from Spain in December 2010. I started reading healthy living + fitness blogs and figured if other people could do it, so could I. These other people were just like me, starting from scratch. I began to run a mile, then two and eventually working up to 5. The day I ran 5 miles was the day I felt like a runner.

In March, I ran my first 5k with my mom. I ran my second three weeks later. On Sunday I finished an 8 mile race, a personal distance record for me. On September 25th, 2011 I will run a half marathon. I honestly can’t believe how far I’ve come and I’m so happy to be running again.